James Eagen Holmes, a 24-year-old former doctoral student in neuroscience, faced the court for the first time on Monday. Looking dazed and despondent, the red-haired alleged gunman sat silently as the judge advised him on the case.
During an early Friday premiere showing of the new Batman blockbuster, a heavily armed Holmes allegedly entered the theater through a propped-open emergency exit and indiscriminately opened fire — using an AR-15 assault rifle, shotgun and handgun — on the packed theater. He was reportedly wearing ballistic protective gear.
Holmes has been held without bond in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility in Centennial, Colorado, since being arrested early Friday. He is expected to face first-degree murder charges, and possibly additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations.
Celebuzz has the latest updates on the tragedy that has rocked the nation.
1. Hospitals treating Dark Knight shooting victims are trying to ease the pain as best they can.
Three hospitals taking care of those wounded will reduce or completely cover medical bills for the victims. Children’s Hospital Colorado, which is treating six shooting victims, announced it would employ donations and its charity care fund to pay for the medical expenses of the many uninsured victims. For those who have medical insurance, the institution will waive all co-pays. “We are committed to supporting these families as they heal,” the hospital said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. Following suit, Medical Center of Aurora — where Dark Knight Rises star Christian Bale visited victims — and Swedish Medical Center will also limit or completely wipe out charges of those in its care, which totals 22 survivors.
2. Obama vows to combat gun violence.
On his latest campaign tour, President Barack Obama told the National Urban League in New Orleans that he will fight firearms violence. Stressing the need for community outreach and in-depth background checks on potential gun buyers, Obama said, “I think the majority of gun owners agree we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons. I think a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong… on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”
3. Step Up Revolution will keep controversial gas mask scene.
Set to hit theaters Friday, the franchise’s fourth installment will feature a gas mask scene that critics called eerie in the wake of the Colorado massacre. Summit Entertainment will not edit out the scene despite the masks that bear resemblance to the gas mask worn by Holmes. “Summit will open this inspirational, nonviolent film in theaters nationwide this weekend as originally edited,” Summit said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The studio did, however, pull advertisements referencing the scene in wake of the tragedy.
4. Funerals and memorials begin for victims.
On Wednesday, about 150 mourners gathered at a Denver church to remember Gordon Cowden, the 51-year-old father who was killed in the shooting, according to the AP. Later this week, families and friends of other victims plan to say their final goodbyes.
5. Residents of Holmes’ evacuated apartment building are finally allowed to return home.
After five days, residents of the suspected shooter’s building were permitted to return to their apartments on Wednesday. The small building near the University of Colorado, Denver, medical campus was evacuated on Friday. The residence was cleared as a precaution, given that Holmes had intricately booby-trapped his apartment, which was packed with homemade explosives and vats of gasoline.
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